Mom Goes Camping

Best Camping Pajamas for Kids

best camping pajamas for kids

The key to a successful camping trip with kids is a good sleep setup.  In addition to a properly-rated sleeping bag and pad, you’ll need the right camping pajamas for your kids.  Here’s what you need to know to find the best camping PJs for your little ones as well as my top picks.

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Best Camping Pajamas for Kids

These kids pajamas are all suitable for camping and everyday use. I’ve included pajamas for infants, toddlers, and bigger kids too.  See the info for temperature and sizing info.

Note:

  • Cold weather = early spring, late fall, or cold summer nights at higher elevations
  • Moderate weather = late spring/early fall or summer nights which might dip down to lower temperatures
  • Warm weather = summer camping at lower elevations

 

BabyDeeDee Fleece Bear Bunting Bag

babydeedee fleece pajamas for camping

Available Sizes: 3-6m, 6-12m, 12-18m, 18-24m
Material: Fleece
Good For: Cold weather
Leg zipper for diaper changes
Hand cover cuffs
Price: $ – Check Here

I have the camping sleeping bag by BabyDeeDee and really like how practical it is.  They recently added this fleece suit to their product line and it is perfect for camping.  It’s actually meant to be a bunting bag but could work as PJs for camping in cold weather if worn over a lightweight base layer.

There are some nice features to these pajamas which make them particularly good for camping.  The material is very soft and warm.  The hood is also good for toddlers; they have a tendency to roll off their pillow and my girl refuses to wear a hat.The diagonal zip makes it easier to get your little on in/out of the sleeping bag.  There’s an addition zipper around the leg area for easy diaper changes.  The cuffs on the sleeve fold to become mittens to keep your child’s hands warm. It’s definitely a good sleep suit for camping in colder weather.

Baby DeeDee also has a bunch of other great PJs for babies and little kids, including these  “cuddly” pajamas (below) which are made out of a soft synthetic material.  These ones have all the same features as the Bear suit but are footed.  The material is thinner than the fleece for the Bear suit, so is good for moderate-to-cold weather camping.

Get the Bear PJs Here

Get the Cuddly PJs Here


Simple Joys by Carter’s Simple Joy Fleece Pajamas

simple joys fleece pajamas by carters for camping

Available Sizes: Infant up to 8 years
Material: Fleece
Good For: Moderate-to-cold weather
Price: $ – Check Here

Carters makes a lot of different types of fleece pajamas for babies, toddlers, and little kids.  There are tons of super-cute designs for both boys and girls.

The fleece used in these pajamas is a bit thin.  This means they are better suited for camping in moderate weather.  If you have a warm sleeping bag and pad for your kid though, the jammies would also be good for cold weather too.

Some of the pajamas come in sets of 3 at ridiculously affordable prices.  So, it’s not surprising that the quality of the fleece isn’t as good and soft as with more expensive brands.  The zipper sometimes sits weird but there is a little flap of fabric lining the zipper so it won’t rub on your child’s skin.

Get Them Here


 

KicKee Bamboo Pajama Sets

kickee bamboo pajamas for camping

Available Sizes: 2-14 years
Material: 95% bamboo vicose
Good For: Warm-to-moderate weather
SPF 50+
Tag-free
Dozens of cute designs for girls and boys
Price: $ – Check Here 

KicKee is one of the few brands which makes bamboo pajamas for camping.  Bamboo is one of the world’s most renewable resources, so it is a good eco-friendly fabric. The bamboo fabric in these jammies is also incredibly breathable and lightweight.  It’s good if you’ve got a little kid who frequently gets sweaty.

The pajamas come in dozens of different designs.  Actually, it’s kind of annoying to choose a set because there are so many options!  KicKee also makes some other kids camping pajamas, including footed jammies for infants and quilted pajamas for colder weather.  They are affordable and versatile enough for everyday use too.

Note that these pajamas are not treated with flame retardant.  Laws state that all pajamas not treated must be tight-fitting.  If you want a looser pajama, then order a size up of these.

Get Them Here


 

Simply Merino Organic Pajamas

Available Sizes: 2-6 years
Material: 100% organic Merino wool
Good For: Moderate and cold weather
Machine washable
Colors: Baby blue, pink, boysenberry, white, moss green, navy blue
Price: $$$ – Check here

Simply Merino is one of the best-known brands making Merino wool clothing.  Their wool is ultra soft and not itchy like a lot of other brands.  It’s hypoallergenic and won’t irritate your kid’s skin.

The quality means that these pajamas are not cheap.  However, they also work as a base layer so you can get a lot of use out of them.  They are also durable enough to last through multiple seasons or to be passed down to younger children. It’s just too bad they don’t make some cute designs.  Right now they only have solid colors.

Get Them Here


 

Woolino Merino Two-Piece Wool Pajamas

Available Sizes: 2-6 years
Material: 100% Merino wool
Good For: Moderate and cold weather
Machine washable
Tag-less
Colors: Blue, gray, lilac
Price: $$$ – Check here

Woolino is another great brand of Merino wool pajamas for kids.  The jammies are very similar in terms of quality and price as the Simply Merino pajamas listed above. The main difference is that the wool isn’t organic. There aren’t as many color options but the pants are striped and slightly cuter IMO. Woolino also is available in a smaller size (1 year olds) and is tag-less to protect sensitive skin.

Get Them Here


Engel Organic Wool and Silk Pajamas

Available Sizes: 3-24 months
Material: 70% organic Merino wool and 30% mulberry silk
Good For: Moderate and cold weather
Made in Germany
7 colors and designs
Price: $$$ – Check here

Engel is a German brand which makes high-quality wool products.  These baby/toddler pajamas stand out because they contain 30% silk in addition to Merino wool. Silk is an incredibly breathable material and really helps prevent sweating and overheating.   By combining the two materials, your child is getting the best of warmth and breathability.

The wool in these pajamas is untreated.  You can wash them in a machine but it is recommended that you wash by hand instead.

Engel also makes a lot of other wool/silk clothes for little kids, like this hat and lots of leggings, sweaters, and tops. See their other products here.

Get the Pajamas Here


 

Rene Rofe Polar Fleece Girls 3-Piece Pajama Set

Available Sizes: 4-16 years
Material: Polar fleece
Good For: Cold weather
5 cute designs
Price: $ – Check here

My older daughter (10 years old) loves these cute pajamas.  I love that they are really warm and that she doesn’t complain about wearing the socks because she actually likes them.  The socks aren’t the best quality but the actual pajamas are nice and thick.  They should hold up well enough to be passed down to my younger daughter.  Considering that these pajamas are very cheap, it’s hard to find fault with them.   They also make some other pajamas for girls but don’t currently have any fleece jammies for boys.

Get Them Here


 

Burt’s Bees Organic Cotton Pajamas

burts bees organic cotton pajamas

Available Sizes: Newborn to 2 years
Material: Organic cotton
Good For: Warm weather
Two-piece and footed one-piece options
Over 30 cute designs for boys and girls
Price: $ – Check Here

My sister got a pair of these pajamas for my daughter when she was a baby. I was surprised how much I liked them.  They didn’t make my daughter sweat like other pajamas, probably because of the loose weave and soft quality cotton.

The one-piece version is available in newborn sizes up to 2 years. The smallest sizes have arm cuffs which can fold over to become mittens (or to keep your baby from scratching her face). The zipper is lined and has a protective button tab on top. The zipper is full-length but there isn’t an extra zipper around the legs for diaper changes.

The fabric is very soft and will last through multiple washes.  It did get stretched out over time though.  That actually ended up being a plus sine my daughter was still able to wear the 12 month size at 18 months, though it looked funny.

I’m actually surprised that these pajamas are so cheap.  Do bear in mind that it is cotton which means it will absorb sweat and take forever to dry.  So, you will need a backup pair for camping.

Get the one-piece version here and two-piece version here


 

Pajamas Material for Camping

You want your kid’s camping pajamas to be soft, comfortable, and warm.  Most importantly, you want the pajama material to be breathable. Otherwise, your little one can end up sweating too much and get all wet which in turn means cold.  Here are the best material options for camping PJs.

 

Merino Wool

Merino wool is far the best material for all types of camping clothes.  It is a great insulator but still breathable and wicking, so you can wear the same item in multiple temperatures.   It naturally resists getting wet but, once drenched, will take a long time to dry. While you should hand-wash Merino (even when it says machine washable), the material is naturally antibacterial so you don’t need to wash it very frequently.

Pros:

  • Very warm
  • Breathable
  • Wicking
  • Still warm even if wet

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • Can take a while to dry
  • Should be hand-washed

 

Fleece

Fleece is a great budget-friendly option for PJs.  It is very warm and soft while still being breathable and it dries fairly quickly.  Note that fleece is made from a type of polyester, which is why some fleece PJs will say they are made from polyester.

Pros:

  • Very warm
  • Soft and comfy
  • Dries quickly
  • Affordable
  • Easy maintenance

Cons:

  • Absorbs liquids
  • Thicker fleece isn’t very breathable

 

Cotton

Cotton is a ubiquitous material and you’ll be able to find tons of kids jammies made from it.  The downside is that cotton really isn’t best for outdoor activities like camping.  It insulates poorly, absorbs water like a sponge, takes forever to dry out, and isn’t breathable or wicking.

You can still use cotton pajamas for camping in warm weather.  Just make sure you bring a backup pair for your child in case the main pair gets wet.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Lots of styles available
  • Comfortable and soft

Cons:

  • Not wicking
  • Poor breathability
  • Only for warm temperatures
  • Absorbs water and takes forever to dry

 

Bamboo

Bamboo is a fairly new fabric choice and there aren’t that many options for kid’s pajamas.  However, it is great material.  Compared to cotton, it is better at wicking and dries faster.  It is also softer and more durable. Some brands also use bamboo which is made in an environmentally-friendly way.   It’s still not as good as Merino wool, but is much more affordable.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Decent wicking
  • Good breathability

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to dry
  • Quality varies depending on brand

 

Silk

I have yet to find any pure silk pajamas for children (which don’t cost a fortune).  However, pajamas with some silk in them are very breathable and comfy.

Pros:

  • Great breathability
  • Very soft

Cons:

  • Not very durable
  • Hand-washing
  • Expensive

 

What if it gets cold?

Yes, you are right to worry whether your child will get cold while camping.  In some areas, the temperature can drop drastically and unexpectedly.  See my post on How Cold Is Too Cold for Tent Camping for the low-down on this and how to properly calculate nighttime temperatures.

If it does get cold at night, then use these tips:

 

Never Wear Daytime Clothes As Pajamas

Even if they seem dry, your daytime clothes will be slightly damp from sweat and moisture.  This will cause evaporative cooling, which means you can get pretty cold at night.  Always make sure you have clean, dry pajamas to wear at night.  My one exception is that I’ll sometimes wear my daytime fleece at night (see below).

 

Keep a Fleece Jacket Nearby

I keep our fleece or puffy jackets in the corner of the tent.  If it gets really cold, then I can easily find them to put them on.  If your children are old enough to dress themselves, then keep the jacket near their sleeping bag in case it gets cold at night.

 

Bring Wool Sleeping Socks

Absolutely bring warm wool socks specifically for sleeping in.  You don’t want to wear your daytime socks to bed because they will be sweaty (and thus cold) and gross.  Even if you don’t want to spend on Merino pajamas, do invest in some wool socks like these infant socks from Woolino or these cheaper socks which are 45% wool.

 

Also Bring a Beanie

A lot of warmth is lost through the head.  Bringing a beanie can do wonders for helping you stay warm at night while camping in the cold.  If your child won’t wear a hat, then choose pajamas or a sleeping bag which has a hood.

 

Consider a Vest or Core Layer

The core needs more insulation than the extremities (arms and legs).  If it really is cold, then put an extra layer around the core.  This can be a short-sleeve base layer under the pajamas or a fleece vest on top of them.

 

Check Your Sleeping Pad Rating

A lot of people severely underestimate the importance of a good sleeping pad for camping.  The sleeping pad is what provides insulation from the ground and prevents conductive heat loss.   Even if you have a very warm sleeping bag, you can still end up cold without a good pad!

Instead of buying an expensive new sleeping bag or wearing multiple layers of jammies to bed, consider getting a better pad.  A good pad doesn’t have to be expensive and it can be used in multiple conditions.  My daughters use the short-sized Therm-A-Rest Scout Pad which has an R-value of 3.1 and is lightweight at 14oz.

 

One or Two Piece Pajamas?

One piece pajamas are definitely warmer than two-piece because there are fewer places for heat to escape.  Likewise, your little one can’t pull up the shirt on a one-piece pajama (my younger likes to play with her belly button at night, exposing her tummy to cold air).

Despite these benefits, I would still opt for a two-piece suit for older toddlers and children.  It’s a lot easier to go to the bathroom with a two-piece.  If an accident occurs at night, you can just remove the wet bottoms instead of having to remove the entire pajamas.  Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice though.

 

Kids Pajamas Tips for Camping

  • Keep pajamas inside the sleeping bag: This makes it easier to find them at bedtime. I also keep any stuffed animals inside the sleeping bag too.
  • Change your kids into pajamas before they get tired: I’ve had my daughter fall asleep in front of the campfire many times. Now I make sure she is in her jammies before we gather around the fire.
  • Plan for accidents and leaky diapers: For younger kids, put a waterproof liner inside the sleeping bag to catch any diaper explosions. For older kids, have a spare towel nearby which can be used to line a wet sleeping bag until morning.
  • Bring backups: If car camping, then go ahead and bring an extra pair of pajamas in case the main ones get wet or dirty.

 

Don’t Overdress Your Child!

The most important tip I can give you is this: avoid the urge to overdress your child at night.  I am guilty of this.  I would worry that my baby was too cold so I’d put extra layers of pajamas on her.  She’d then overheat and get drenched in sweat.  Wet = evaporation = cold, so then I was really worried that she was cold!  On one camping trip, I ended up awake for most of the night because I didn’t have spare dry pajamas to put her in.  She woke up every 30 minutes out of discomfort.

The lesson? Avoid overheating and sweat it the first place by not overdressing your child.


Image credit: “She may be a morning person…” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by jenpilot

About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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